How to Prepare a Loom for Fringeless Weaving

navajo loom

Navajo Loom

If you'd like to weave a larger hanging or maybe a rug, and aren't ready to invest in an expensive tapestry loom, you should consider a Navajo-style loom.

It's simple and efficient, and if you have some basic tools, you can make one yourself.

Fringeless weaving, or weaving with four selvedges.

Navajo rugs are unique because they are woven with no "loom waste." In other words, there is no warp fringe to deal with when you're done. They are finished on all four sides.

I'm going to show you how to prepare the warp for fringeless weaving, and then guide you through the parts of a Navajo loom. 

It's not my place to teach you how to weave in the Navajo, or Diné way, that should be taught by Diné weavers. 

I recommend this book - it's fun to read, and written by the experts.


Navajo weaving book

For most frame loom weaving, you wind the warp directly on the loom, but with this method you wind the warp, then tie it on the loom.

You need to have a separate frame, or jig, to wind the warp before you put it on the loom.

I hammered nails on the backside of a loom to create the jig... it was a simple frame loom and was left over from a workshop I'd taken, so hammering the nails wasn't a big deal. But for all of my other looms, I'd make a jig instead.


You've got to even out the warp threads and secure them before you take them off the jig. 


When the warp was ready I took the nails out of the backside of the loom and tied the warp on the frontside.


The last step is to make your heddles - then you're ready to weave!